However long it has taken for the reality of global warning to be accepted, in the end there will not be a statement that it is 100% fact, but however close they get to that, it will be based on objective evidence, not on any hearsay! And I think you will agree with that!
> There is a grain of truth in your claim--but only
> a grain. The hypothetical/deductive method
> involving formal experimental and null hypotheses
> is unique to the sciences--but is rarely used in
> it's pure form. Seen historically, it often comes
> as a culmination of a great deal of foundational
> research which refines simple observations. Even
> then, certain requirements of the design may not
> be met.
> A good example is global warming. As early as the
> 18th century, there was speculation that the
> burning of wood, peat, and coal could cause the
> release of gases that could increase global
> temperature, but there weren't enough observations
> over the entire globe over a long enough period of
> time to really formally test that hypothesis. Two
> centuries later, we formed an international group
> called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
> Change (IPCC) to carry out a global study
> measuring both temperature and CO2 concentration
> prospectively, and earlier temperature changes
> retrospectively--using data from tree ring samples
> and ice core samples. The retrospective data,
> imperfect as it was, clearly showed temperature
> cycles with a sharp upward trend in recent times.
> Using data from weather observation sites
> onground, buoys at sea, and satellites in space,
> we were finally able to present truly global
> measurements for the first time that verified the
> increases--including the sharp increase in recent
> years. At the same time, studies of CO2
> concentration showed similar increases.
> Unfortunately, there was no way to do a controlled
> experiment to test the hypothesis that the
> increases in CO2 caused the increases in
> temperature. Remember, that was the original
> hypothesis. Instead, we correlated the CO2 and
> temperature observations with each other and found
> an association that couldn't be explained by
> So, it was "kind of" the scientific method you are
> talking about--if we just look at the most recent
> studies. But the approach was by no means the out
> of the box, step by step, process you describe.
> Worse yet, the final association documented fell
> short of the causal findings demanded by "the
> scientific method."